from the Circuit Court of the 21st Judicial Circuit, Kankakee
County, Illinois. Circuit No. 08-CF-420, The Honorable Kathy
S. Bradshaw-Elliott, Judge, presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE delivered the judgment of the court, with
opinion. Justices McDade and O'Brien concurred in the
judgment and opinion.
1 After a jury trial, defendant, Dameko S. Brickhouse, was
convicted of two counts of armed robbery (720 ILCS
5/18-2(a)(2) (West 2008)) and was sentenced to two concurrent
terms of 30 years in prison. On direct appeal,
defendant's convictions and sentences were affirmed.
People v. Brickhouse, 2011 IL App (3d) 100289-U,
¶ 2. Defendant filed a postconviction petition, alleging
that he was denied ineffective assistance of trial counsel
because trial counsel failed to file a motion to suppress
defendant's statements to police. After a third-stage
evidentiary hearing, the trial court denied defendant's
postconviction petition. Defendant appeals. We affirm the
trial court's judgment.
3 In July 2008, defendant was charged with two counts of
armed robbery. The charging instrument alleged that
defendant, while carrying a handgun, knowingly took money
from the person or presence of Rochelle Hicks (count I) and
Jeffrey Hicks (count II) by the use, or threatened use, of
4 In May 2009, defendant's case proceeded to a jury
trial. The evidence presented at the trial can be summarized
as follows. Rochelle Hicks testified that on July 1, 2008,
she and her husband, Jeffrey Hicks, went to a credit union or
bank in Bourbonnais, Illinois, where Jeffrey withdrew $1000
from his account to pay bills. Jeffrey gave $500 to Rochelle
and kept the remaining $500 for himself. Thereafter, Rochelle
and Jeffrey went to a currency exchange in Kankakee,
Illinois, so that Jeffrey could pay the electric bill and
Rochelle could pay the telephone bill. While in the currency
exchange, Rochelle saw defendant and Curtis Phillips walk
past the building. Rochelle had known defendant for
approximately three years, through her uncle, but had never
talked to defendant and had known Curtis for several years.
According to Rochelle, on the date of the robbery, defendant
was wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans, and a black White
5 When Rochelle and Jeffrey left the currency exchange, they
started walking toward Jeffrey's sister's house. As
Rochelle and Jeffrey were walking down an alley behind some
houses, they ran into Curtis, who was alone at the time.
Jeffrey and Curtis had a brief conversation. After the
conversation ended, Curtis went on his way, and Jeffrey and
Rochelle continued down the alley. When they got to about the
middle of the alley, defendant jumped out from between two
garages with a small silver handgun, which Rochelle also
described as a "silver caliber handgun." Defendant
pointed the gun at Rochelle and Jeffrey and told them to give
him all of their money before he killed them. Jeffrey told
Rochelle to give her money to defendant, and Rochelle did so.
Jeffrey did not give defendant the remaining $500 that he had
in his possession. After defendant received the money, he
told Rochelle and Jeffrey to walk away. As they did so,
defendant ran up the alley. When Rochelle and Jeffrey got to
Jeffrey's sister's house, Rochelle called the police.
6 At the police station, Rochelle identified defendant from a
photographic lineup. Rochelle told the police that defendant
had a short silver gun. The police showed Rochelle a
photograph of a gun, but Rochelle stated that the gun in the
picture was not the gun used in the robbery. Rochelle also
identified defendant's hat from a police photograph.
7 On cross-examination, Rochelle admitted that she received
social security payments because she had a learning
disability. Additionally, Rochelle admitted that she did not
know what a "silver caliber handgun" meant, but
Jeffrey had told her the name of the gun.
8 Jeffrey Hicks testified, similar to Rochelle, that on July
1, 2008, the couple went to a credit union to withdraw some
money and then to a currency exchange to pay some bills.
After leaving the currency exchange, Jeffrey and Rochelle
were walking into an alley to take a shortcut to
Jeffrey's sister's house, when they were approached
by Curtis. Jeffrey and Curtis had a brief conversation, and
then Curtis left and went in the other direction. As Jeffrey
and Rochelle continued down the alley, they were confronted
by defendant. Defendant jumped out of the bushes, demanded
money, and threatened to shoot the couple with a
silver-colored handgun. Jeffrey thought that the gun was a
.38 caliber. Jeffrey told Rochelle to give her money to
defendant, and Rochelle complied. Defendant directed Jeffrey
and Rochelle to walk away. As they did so, defendant ran in
the opposite direction.
9 Later, Jeffrey told the police that the assailant wore a
black White Sox hat, white T-shirt, and blue jeans. Jeffrey
identified defendant from a photographic lineup. On
cross-examination, Jeffrey remembered telling the police that
the assailant had braids in his hair.
10 Curtis Phillips testified that he knew defendant,
Rochelle, and Jeffrey. On the morning of the robbery, Curtis
was walking to the hospital to visit his girlfriend when he
met up with defendant on the street. Defendant was wearing
jeans and a T-shirt at the time. Curtis and defendant walked
together for a while, went past the currency exchange, and
then split up and went in their own directions. As they split
up, defendant told Curtis that he was "trying to go and
hustle up him some money," which Curtis took to mean
that defendant was going to try to find some work or some
money. Curtis did not see defendant with a gun that day.
11 Shortly after Curtis and defendant separated, Curtis saw
Rochelle and Jeffrey walking behind him. Curtis spoke to
Jeffrey briefly and then went on his way. About four or five
minutes later, as Curtis was crossing the street, he heard
Jeffrey yelling. Curtis looked back and saw Jeffrey,
Rochelle, and some other people standing on the street corner
calling for the police. Curtis tried to find out what was
going on, but the police officer told Curtis to move along.
Rochelle and Jeffrey told Curtis that "Dameko" had
robbed them. Having been told to move along, Curtis continued
on his way to the hospital.
12 When Curtis returned home from the hospital, he found his
uncle and defendant at his house. Curtis's uncle had a
construction business. Defendant appeared to have been
working, had different clothes on, and had putty on his
hands. The police showed up a short time later and took
Curtis to the police station, where he identified defendant
from a photographic lineup as the person who was with him
earlier that day in front of the currency exchange.
13 After Curtis returned home from the police station, he
received a phone call from a person identifying himself as
defendant. The person asked Curtis to "see if they want
the money back *** so they can drop the charges." About
an hour or two later, Curtis had another conversation with
defendant. Defendant asked Curtis to talk to Rochelle to see
if she would take the money back so that the charges could be
dropped. Curtis did not contact Rochelle about the matter,
however, because he did not want to get involved.
14 When asked on the witness stand about whether defendant
had braids in his hair on the date of the robbery, Curtis
testified that defendant always had his hair cut as it was in
court and that he did not remember defendant having braids.
Upon further questioning, Curtis indicated that he cut
defendant's hair and that he knew for a fact that
defendant did not have braids.
15 Detective Tim Kreissler testified that on the date of the
armed robbery, later in the afternoon, he conducted an audio-
and video-recorded interview with defendant. Before the
interview began, Kreissler read defendant a Miranda
form that explained defendant his rights. Defendant indicated
that he understood his rights and signed the Miranda
16 During Kreissler's testimony, the State introduced the
audio and video recording of defendant's interview.
Shortly after the start of the recording, a clunk or bang
could be heard, the video cut out, and only the audio was
available. As the interview continued, Kreissler obtained
defendant's name and some background information.
Kreissler asked defendant for permission to record the
interview. Defendant stated that he did not do anything wrong
and told Kreissler that Kreissler could call defendant's
parole officer. Kreissler again asked for consent to
record the interview. Defendant consented but then stated to
Kreissler, "I can't ask for a lawyer?" The
following conversation ensued:
"KREISSLER: Well, we'll get to that point, but um
we're not at that point yet. Right now we're just
getting over whether we're gonna, you know, audio and
video, so just sign there-you said, yeah, we can audio-video
it-and then we'll read you your rights, which we'll
get to that point [inaudible].
DEFENDANT: Read me my rights? I ain't did nothing.
KREISSLER: Well, you just said, you know, can you have your
lawyer present. If you didn't-[pause].
Dameko, put your initials there, where it says that, yes, we
can audio and video it."
then read defendant his Miranda rights, including
the warning that defendant had the right to an attorney and
that one would be provided for him if he could not afford
one. In total, about 30 seconds had passed from the point
where defendant had made the question or comment about a
lawyer and the point where Kreissler had read defendant his
Miranda rights. After the statement of each right,
Kreissler asked defendant if he understood the right, and
defendant indicated affirmatively. Kreissler confirmed that
defendant could read and then told defendant that he could
read the Miranda rights form ...